Death march survivor dies
John Love, a Bataan Death March survivor who led a campaign to change the caption on a historic photograph from the Associated Press (AP), has died. He was 91. Love died on Monday after a long battle with cancer, said Gerry Lightwine, pastor at La Vida Llena, an Albuquerque retirement home where Love lived. As a 19-year-old member of the New Mexico Guard, Love was one of 75,000 Philippine and US soldiers who were taken captive in the Philippines by the Japanese in April 1942. In all, tens of thousands of troops were forced to march to Japanese prison camps in what became known as the Bataan Death March. Many were denied food, water and medical care, and those who collapsed during the scorching journey were shot or bayoneted. For the remainder of World War II, Love was forced to work in a Japanese copper mine until being liberated in 1945. In 2009, Love joined a campaign with other Bataan Death March survivors to change the caption on one of the most famous photos in AP’s library about the march. The photo actually was an Allied prisoner-of-war burial detail. Following a six-month investigation, AP corrected the caption in 2010.
Graft probe nets gold, cash
Police have seized 42kg of gold and US$4.8 million in cash during a search of the apartments of former minister of energy Eduard Stavytsky, Minister of the Interior Arsen Avakov said on Saturday. Avakov said the searches had been conducted in connection with a corruption investigation in the energy sector. “It blew my mind when I received a report on the results this morning. How much would one have to steal, to have such a ‘trifle’ at home as pocket money,” Avakov said on Facebook. Stavytsky’s career blossomed under ousted president Viktor Yanukovych and he was appointed energy minister in December 2012. Police on Friday detained another energy official — state energy company Naftogaz chief executive Yevhen Bakulin — as part of the investigation into corruption that it says may have cost the state about US$4 billion. Naftogaz is responsible for the import and distribution of Russian natural gas in the country. It also holds a monopoly on the shipment of gas from Russia’s Gazprom via Ukraine to Europe.
Elephants escape circus
Authorities say three elephants escaped from their handlers at a circus and damaged several vehicles in the parking lot before they were recaptured. Television station KMOV reports that the female elephants escaped from the children’s ride section of the Moolah Shrine Circus in Missouri. TV station KSDK says the circus issued a statement saying the handlers were able to occupy the animals. Police say that the animals also damaged the venue’s loading door.
Gunmen kill mayor
Gunmen killed the mayor of a town in the troubled state of Michoacan on Saturday, more than a year after he had survived a previous assassination attempt, officials said. “With deep consternation and indignation, I strongly condemn the cowardly murder of Gustavo Garibay Garcia, mayor of Tanhuato,” Michoacan Governor Fausto Vallejo said on Twitter. Garibay Garcia, who survived a similar attempt on his life in October 2012, was shot dead as he left home. The Knights Templar gang has taken hold of much of Michoacan’s economy.